The new film "Son of God," a Jesus-focused adaptation of last year's miniseries "The Bible," earned $26.5 million in a second place win at the box office this past weekend. Christian reviewers celebrated the success, calling it a "miracle," but warned that it will not suddenly convert Hollywood.
"Son of God brought in 26 million dollars in its first week – that's a miracle!" declared Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture for the Media Research Center. Gainor praised the efforts of Director Roma Downey, but emphasized that even this big success will likely fail to "wake Hollywood up" to the massive opportunity in more faith-centered films.
Chris Stone, founder of online Christian community Faith Driven Consumer, claimed the success of "Son of God" as proof of the viability of entertainment targeted to a faith audience. "We consider it a proof point that Hollywood can make money with a product that appeals to faith-driven consumers," Stone declared. more >>
The skeptic inside of us may knee-jerk away from going to see "Heaven Is for Real." However, may I suggest fighting that impulse and instead, taking yourself to see an extremely powerful movie that, in the end, is a movie about our own questions regarding life and the life-after.
The movie is about our humanness because nearly all of us question where it is we go when we die. We may not be part of a pastor's family, and surely most of us have never had a near-death experience, but we go about our lives doing much like the Burpo family portrayed in the movie, doing the best they can at making sense of things in day-to-day living, until the unexplainable happens.
Whether the real life, 4-year-old Colton Burpo went to the actual heaven during his emergency surgery in 2003, has not really been my concern since I caught a pre-release screening at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville last Sunday. What I was impressed with most, and still marvel at, is that the life of an ordinary pastor and his family living in Nebraska were so authentically captured in a Hollywood film. That's not a given. more >>
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Filmmaker and media consultant Phil Cooke, who has been the host of several panel discussions at the four-day National Religious Broadcasters Convention, said that even though some of the recent movies coming out based on stories from the Bible are inaccurate, it's important for Christians to engage in the conversation about such films.
"Hollywood is putting millions and millions, and millions of dollars putting biblical stories out there, and my feeling is some will be accurate, some will not be so accurate. But the fact is that they are giving us an incredible opportunity to share those stories with friends and co-workers," Cooke told The Christian Post during a break in sessions at the NRB event. "I mean, 'Noah,' it's going to be water-cooler conversation. So let's get in there and start sharing our views on the story."
Cooke, whose expertise and accomplishments in the media marketplace are highly regarded, often talks about the need for better quality movies from the Christian community. more >>
NASHVILLE – A top Hollywood studio executive has called on Christians to focus on producing real, well-written, true-to-life stories to really capture the attention of the entertainment industry.
"I absolutely believe that a lot of times, when it comes to faith-based content, we portray sometimes the ideal of what we believe," DeVon Franklin, senior vice president of Production for Columbia Tristar Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said during a panel on Christian engagement with the media, at the National Religious Broadcasters' International Christian Media Convention on Monday.
"We all have gone through tragedy, we all have gone through trauma, some of us are in pain right now – because life is not where we want it to be. Some of us are depressed, some of us are angry, some of us are frustrated, some of us have lost some loved ones, we all have gone through massive things that have happened to us." more >>
NASHVILE, Tenn. – By way of of social media, people look more to their friends and family for reliable information, including shared links to news stories, a Facebook manager for policy told Christian media professionals during the opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters Convention on Saturday.
"People no longer trust, I'm sorry to say, TV, radio, newspapers, campaigns, organizations – they don't trust them as much," said Katie Harbath, during the conferences first keynote session. Her work at Faceback focuses on political outreach. "But what they do trust is when that information comes from a friend or family member."
Harbath explained, "Facebook is increasingly becoming a place for people to find new information and new organizations because yes, it's true that they are going there to see my cat pictures or baby pictures or vacation pictures of their friends, but while they are doing that they are getting news and information, too. They are seeing the headlines, they are clicking on links." more >>
NASHVILLE -- Dr. Jerry A. Johnson has called on the National Religious Broadcasters community to aspire to three main goals during his official installation as NRB President and CEO on Saturday, mainly to advance Biblical truth, to promote media excellence, and to defend free speech.
"Our three freedoms are freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press. And you are uniquely positioned to defend all three freedoms," Johnson said, noting the importance that the entire gospel is taught.
"We need to get back to Christianity as a faith rooted in history, in fact, in reality," he continued, adding that many in today's society do not know the full story behind Jesus Christ, and that He died for people's sins. more >>